Our School Community is unique. Here is a bit about why.
Our ecosystem is shaped by values, norms, and principles (please click on this link for our nine principles); a set of approaches that we have developed that lay out how we do our work; and our own history and experience. Each of these influences the others, and together they make Magnolia and the Wildflower network what it is.
We value: 1. Connectedness with all things and between all facets of oneself. We value and cultivate our connectedness with the world around us and the world within us as the pathway to peace.
2. Growth along one’s own evolutionary path, the blossoming of one’s inner essence. We value and cultivate growth for children, teachers, families, all of our partners, and for the whole world.
We live into our values by embedding them in everything we do. Our experience is that three ways of acting and being at Wildflower play a central role in upholding these values. We strive to make these ways of living and working the norm for our community, so that living into our values becomes the norm as well.
Awareness. We cultivate our capacity to be authentically present, observe reality and seek the truth, free from preconception and without judgment.
Kindness. We act compassionately toward ourselves and others.
Autonomy and Support. We foster independence in ourselves and others, and we help each other non-coercively. We believe in practicing generosity and mutual aid.
Please explore more here about Wildflower Values and Norms. Please explore here about how Magnolia’s voluntary equitable tuition structure supports and encourages mutual aid and equity.
We practice concepts of self-governance, non-hierarchy, and wholeness. These are concepts based in Frederic Lalaoux’s Reinventing Organizations as well as Brian Robertson’s Holacracy. We ask you to explore more about these concepts:
Wholeness: We choose to create a culture at school that supports and inspires us to embody and live from the wholeness and fullness of who we are; to be radically and lovingly authentic. This isn't easy-- greater awareness of ourselves and taking off our masks can be uncomfortable and leave us feeling vulnerable. But we trust that seeing ourselves and each other as whole people, on an evolutionary journey with significant limitations as well as wonderful capacities, makes our community more vibrant, sane, creative and healthy.
Montessori for Adults: the Roles of Magnolia Parents and Teacher-Leaders
The radical, beautiful vision that Maria Montessori had for children must be complemented by a similarly radical, beautiful vision for adults. Otherwise, the Montessori classroom becomes like a flower growing in the desert, trying to blossom in an environment that wasn’t made for it.
Our society’s prevailing efficiency/control paradigm doesn’t naturally foster the freedom/support paradigm of the Montessori classroom. It leads naturally to overworked and underempowered teachers, to harried and authoritarian leaders, to a subconscious societal belief that child development is a race, to bells and desks and grades and detention and their adult equivalents.
What is needed, instead, is a mirror of the Montessori classroom in the adult world. What is needed is the belief that adults, like children, are naturally peaceful, and curious, and good. And what is needed are structures and practices that give the freedom and support for the inherent goodness, peacefulness, and curiosity of the adults to blossom; in the way that the Montessori method does so for children.
Montessori is driven by respect for the child, by nonjudgmental observation and compassionate kindness, and by a nurturing environment that gives autonomy with support.
Wildflower extends Montessori theory by applying these same practices of nonjudgmental observation, compassionate kindness, and autonomy with support: first for the teachers, then for the parents, and finally to the broader community. In the short-term, this brings additional work for both teachers and parents. In the long-run, as the school community settles into Wildflower structures and practices, it creates an ease and joy and growth process that mirrors that of a Montessori classroom. The social environment of the adults is thus prepared to allow for authentic Montessori to flourish, both in the classroom and in the home.
Such structures will allow for the flourishing of our natural capacities as adults for kindness, for generosity of spirit, for open-mindedness and open-heartedness. By unlocking the great power of these qualities, we may work gently together to make the world a more beautiful place.
Please read more on the role of parents at Magnolia here, and the relationship between teachers and parents here. Additionally, we are happy to connect you with currently enrolled families so you can learn more about the experience of being a Magnolia family. (Please email us for contacts.)
Most of the text of this page is taken from Sep Kamvar's founding documents on Wildflower. Please cite him in quoting and/or in reproducing these ideas.